According to Everyday Health, back pain is the leading cause of disability. If you have chronic pain or back pain in general, know that you are not alone. You bend over, grab something from a drawer, and you feel this sudden sharp pain or muscle spasm in your back. Truth is, the majority of us don’t treat our backs the way we are supposed to. It only makes sense that a big part of the problem is how we move, and often how we don’t move at work, where most of us spend a major portion of the day.
Back pain is a more common problem than many people might realize. Lower back pain is cited by doctors as one of the top reasons as to why people frequently visit the doctor’s office. People often disregard or try to work around their back pain, until they’ve hit rock bottom and are in chronic pain. Back pain at work can be caused by many different factors, such as the job in question or the environment you work in. It is important to know your body, and to know when and what is causing your pain. Here is what to know about back pain at work and how to help yourself when it occurs:
1. Sitting: Doctors say that the biggest mistake office workers make is continuing to sit in their desk chairs for extended periods of time. Sitting for too long puts too much pressure on the discs and joints in your back. Stand up to take a break, walking around from time to time. To give your body a break, it is suggested that you regularly moving your rear around in your chair and shift your weight. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, stand up occasionally during conversations, and try to take a short walk at least every half-hour, even if it’s just to the kitchen or printer.
2. Posture: Posture happens to be a huge factor in the causes of back pain. Many of us slouch in our chairs and don’t sit up straight like we are supposed to. Ergonomic chairs are the way to go, or a supportive padding or pillow can also help.
3. Accidents: Accidents can happen at work and cause you to injure your back. If you lift heavy equipment or do something that puts a lot of pressure on your back and other parts of the body, make sure to protect yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Equipment: For employees who experience back pain at/from work, we would highly recommend that you raise the issue with your employer. Having proper ergonomic chairs, and other suitable equipment and supplies will help you have a suitable work environment.
5. Stay Active: Those who suffer from chronic pain need to exercise and stay active. The longer you’re immobile, the weaker your back muscles will become, and the more they will hurt in the long term. So, in other words, be mobile and take the necessary measures in order to avoid further back complications in the future.
To learn more about how you can help avoid getting back pain at work, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.